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Wednesday Oct 29, 2014

Spread the Word: Health is Primary

Last week I told you that the Academy and other family medicine organizations were poised to roll out a three-year national advertising campaign -- the public component of the Family Medicine for America's Health  initiative -- to educate key stakeholders and decision-makers about the value of family medicine and primary care. The campaign also is designed to educate patients and get them more involved in their own health care.

It's now my privilege, in one of my first official Leader Voices Blog posts as your president, to share the latest update from the Family Medicine for America's Health Board of Directors.

Family Medicine for America's Health
Organizational Update: October 2014

Health is Primary has launched! Family Medicine for America's Health -- a new, five-year coalition of eight national family medicine groups -- kicked off the three-year campaign last week during the AAFP Assembly in Washington. The goal is to demonstrate the value of primary care in delivering on the triple aim of better health, better care and lower costs.

I was honored to speak last week during the launch of Health is Primary. The three-year campaign aims to raise awareness of the role of primary care in improving the health care system.

The Health is Primary campaign will use national advertising, partnerships and stakeholder outreach to raise awareness of the role of primary care in improving the health care system. Family Medicine for America's Health will also drive a five-year strategic initiative to transform family medicine to meet the changing needs of the health care system.

Health is Primary will travel to cities around the country to engage local stakeholders and showcase community-level interventions that are working to enhance and expand primary care and improve health. The campaign will also partner with employers, disease groups and health advocates to activate patients on major health issues such as chronic disease management and smoking cessation and advance the use of technology tools for patient communication.

At the same time, Family Medicine for America's Health will work to modernize the family
medicine specialty and transform the nation's health care system. The strategic effort will focus
on expanding access to the patient-centered medical home, ensuring a strong primary care
workforce and shifting from fee-for-service to comprehensive primary care payment. Family
Medicine for America's Health is establishing six tactical teams with broad representation from
the primary care community that will focus on key areas for transformation: payment, practice
management, workforce education and development, technology, research, and engagement.

The campaign launch coincided with the release of a special supplement to the October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine(annfammed.org) that provides background on the planning process and the framework for execution.

To learn more about the campaign, we invite you to join us for our first webinar(www.anymeeting.com) at 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Nov. 5. We will be holding these sessions periodically to update the family medicine community on our work and our progress.

Of course, you can always find us at HealthIsPrimary.org(www.healthisprimary.org) and FMAHealth.org(www.FMAHealth.org). If you would like to donate to support the efforts of Family Medicine for America's Health, visit the AAFP Foundation website(aafpfoundation.org).

We are pleased to report that the board of directors for Family Medicine for America's
Health is now fully formed. Our 12th member, Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, is the director of
health policy for the National Partnership for Women & Families. Lauren fills the patient
advocate role on the Board and will bring that important perspective to the campaign.

Representative and Organization/Affiliation

  • Glen Stream, M.D., M.B.I., Chair, American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Michael Tuggy, M.D., Vice Chair, Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors
  • Paul Martin, D.O., Secretary/Treasurer, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians
  • Jen Brull, M.D., represents full-scope, full-time practicing family physicians
  • Thomas Campbell, M.D., Association of Departments of Family Medicine
  • Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil., North American Primary Care Research Group
  • Lauren Hughes, M.D., M.P.H., represents family physicians early in their careers
  • Vincent Keenan, C.A.E., represents AAFP chapter executives
  • Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, patient advocate, National Partnership for Women & Families
  • Jerry Kruse, M.D., M.S.P.H., Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
  • Robert Phillips Jr., M.D., M.S.P.H., American Board of Family Medicine
  • Jane Weida, M.D., AAFP Foundation

Further background, including earlier updates on this project are available on the Family Medicine for America's Health website.(fmahealth.org)

Robert Wergin, M.D., is president of the AAFP.

Posted at 02:10PM Oct 29, 2014 by Robert Wergin, M.D.

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